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Students’ giant quilt features more than 100 handmade messages on mental health

21st May 2018

Health & Social Care and Health Studies students from City College Norwich have come up with a creative and eye-catching way to promote mental health awareness, making a stunning quilt made up of 102 individual messages of hope.

The quilt will go on display to City College Norwich students this week (from Tuesday 22nd to Friday 25th May), as part of an interactive exhibition on mental health.  Level 3 Health & Social Care and Level 3 Health Studies students will be engaging fellow City College students in a range of activities linked to mental health and wellbeing.  They will also be fundraising for mental health charity MIND.

The project has been led by a former student on the course, Leah Cranswick, and Level 3 Health & Social Care Course Leader (Year 2), Joanne Wright.

More than 100 students from six different groups have got involved, each coming up with their own individual messages, which they crafted using various materials onto 9x9 inch squares of fabric.

The squares were then sewn together to make up the quilt by Ms Cranswick, from Thorpe St Andrew, who has returned to City College Norwich this year to volunteer on the course.  The task of sewing the squares together took around 14 hours at the sewing machine.

The finished quilt is about the same size as a King Size duvet.  It is not only impressive to look at, but more importantly is inspirational in the messages it carries for those who may be inwardly struggling - a true comfort blanket.

Leah Cranswick commented:

“We wanted to create something massive that all of the Level 3 Health & Social Care and Health Studies students could be involved with.  For the squares we asked the students to do anything that relates to mental health that meant something to them, a powerful message, a picture, anything, we didn’t put any restrictions on it. The students were really up for it. We hope the exhibition will get more students talking about mental health and help take away the stigma that can be attached to it.”      

Joanne Wright, Level 3 Health & Social Care Course Leader (Year 2), added:

“Each one of my students has something to say about mental health, its impact, its stigma.  We wanted to hear their voices, to let them share their messages of hope, solidarity and understanding.  Our wish for the exhibition is that the students who come and interact with it will also find their voices, add them to ours, and raise awareness as a body of young people to reduce stigma and shine a light on the support that can come through simply talking.”

Pictured: Clockwise from furthest left: Matilda Schmidgall, Natalie Wright, Grace Armes, Sabawon Ahmadzai, Leah Cranswick, Joanne Wright (course leader), Emily Marsham, Lily Collison-Cook, Emily Yallop.